Last chance for Gosport to show they’re up for a cup

Gosport manager Alex Pike is eager for his fortunes to change in cup competitions
Gosport manager Alex Pike is eager for his fortunes to change in cup competitions
Alex Pike. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Pike sacked by Gosport Borough – again

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Gosport Borough have a point to prove when they host fellow Southern League side Slough Town in an FA Trophy preliminary round tie at Privett Park (3pm).

It is a final chance for Borough to make an impact in a national knock-out competition after their inglorious FA Cup exit at Moneyfields.

In that match, Alex Pike’s side led 1-0 before losing 2-1 against their Wessex premier division neighbours.

Pike’s record in cup games in recent years is not great and he would like to see that change.

‘Not being able to put a run together in a cup competition is a problem I’ve had ever since I have been here,’ said Pike.

‘We most certainly need to make up for our FA Cup exit.

‘There are not many revenue streams left for clubs at our level and the cups are one of them.

‘Players need to realise that winning a few games can bring in a useful financial bonus.

‘Losing at Moneyfields in the FA Cup hurt us all and, hopefully, the players will remember that.

‘Slough will be a tough proposition, though, because they finished in the play-offs in the central division last season and have made another excellent start this time around.

‘On a positive note, we are at home and we do tend to raise our game against the better sides.’

Gosport are sweating on the fitness of captain and experienced defender Aaron Cook, who faces a late fitness test, but have forward Jason Silver back after he missed last week attending a wedding.

Borough gave themselves a timely confidence boost with a 2-0 home win over Taunton Town in the league, with prolific goalscorer Justin Bennett returning to form with both goals.

If Bennett is on song, it usually means Borough play well and his contribution could again prove crucial if Gosport are to progress.

Pike wants to see other players also getting in on the goalscoring act to take the pressure off his strikers.

‘We have played 10 games and our defenders are yet to score from a set-piece,’ said Pike.

‘I am also looking for the midfield to score more goals.

‘Defensively, we have been great this season, conceding only eight goals in 10 league games.

‘Now we have to start putting the ball in the net at the other end.’

Gosport: Hards, Pryce, G Jones, Molyneux, Cook, Poate, Martin, Wooden, Kirby, Way, Ford, Silver, Wylde, Woodward, Bennett, Sewell, Taylor, Norton.